Dollar General store brand motor oil claims to meet the obsolete API SF spec.
By "obsolete" I mean that API no longer licenses that spec.
Check out the MC sub-forum. Lots of folks using various HDEOs in their bikes rather than oils labeled for that use with good results.
Need more info. Are you looking for oil for a bike or car? If car, SN covers all the specifications you listed. If bike, you may not need MC specific oil. Why are you looking for an outdated oil grade?
So they don't have to be tested with all the parameters of old API SE/SF were. There's no ASTM testing runs for this oils? Because to get a label from API, even for SE, it would be kind of expensive, right?
Now as they're called obsolete, I believe they're not submitable for testing. API wouldn't issue obsolete ratings from the past, specially in regards of American and Euro emission ditations. The seller says it meets SG, BUT WOULDN'T BACK IT UP with test run documentation.
Kind of "La garantia soy jo".
I agree, inexpensive car SE/SF/SG oils are probably just low additive oils. Better off with a SL/SM/SN regular oil.
However, If I wanted a modern and high quality SG/SJ oil, I would buy a modern motorcycle oil. Here is a link to Castrol Power 1. The GPS 10W-40 motorcycle oil is a semi-synthetic rated SJ/SH/SG/SF/SE, or they have a full synthetic Racing 5W-40 rated API SJ.
I think the problem is the companies are crooked and think they have a better chance of staying in business longer by claiming to meet an obsolete spec which let's them fly under the radar longer until someone like PQIA shows us the truth
Part of the issue is that these oils are no longer licensed as SE, SF, or SG. No one polices it, and no one can really claim they are SE, SF, or SG licensed, unless the stock is dreadfully old. So, unless it's a company that you trust and they're actually stating it's made to those standards, and they aren't skimping on the additives and are actually trying to make a high phosphorus, high HTHS oil, I'd steer clear.
Any you always have to be wary about what you're getting, even with a trusted oil, if you're going for a motorcycle application. Some non-certified oils from the majors (i.e. racing oils, VR-1 comes to mind) specifically warn against using them in shared sump applications, due to a good dose of friction modifiers.
Although they're something of a rarity in the US, SG/CD oils (usually 20W50 or 15W40) are still widely available in many parts of the world. You will find them all over the Middle-East, Africa, Latin-America and the hotter parts of Asia. And although these oils aren't cutting edge tech or would satisfy the average BITOG reader, they do actually work!
Do NOT look for SG etc oil, look for brand name oil with modern certifications maybe at outlet/big box sale shelf.
API specs cover the previous ones, so SL, SM, SN is at least as good as any lesser spec, ie SA, SF, SG etc.
If you have a motorcycle with wet clutch, you should look for oil that works with that.
Seriously I don't think old spec is even cheaper than new spec oil, so don't fail this simple test.
If you happen to have SF, SG oil around, you may use it in a simple mower or something, don't pour it in a classic motorcycle.
Carrefour here has Castrol 4T "Go" 20-40W motorcycle which meets the reassuringly (?)obsolete SG (1989) specification, and is cheap.
Optimistically, one might assume it had more ZDDP than the motor oils, most of which are SM, (2004) spec or later, with lowered Zinc levels.
In practice its usually impossible to find out what's in an oil.
I second that. Shell Rotella 15w40 is popular. I've personally used Mobil Delvac, and Valvoline Premium Blue. Pick whichever is on sale in your neck of the woods.
Your local WalMart will have SuperTech Heavy Duty 15w40. It's another excellent oil in shared sump bikes. Unless your have something fairly exotic, it will do the job for 10.00 a gallon. I personally know of a Honda ST1300 rider with 100k on his ride using only ST oil.... Good stuff. Look in the MC section of BITOG... thousands of opinions.
I'm still interested in what bike(s) though....
Hit up Walmart. Most will carry Valvoline motorcycle oil in 10w40 or 20w50 for $4 a quart. This is the conventional MC oil in a black bottle. Or as others have said, Rotella 15w40 and any HDEO in the 15w40 grade. This is about as 'cheap' as it gets for MC oil. Mobil 1 15w50 in the 5qt jug works too if you want a synthetic.